Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Nothing doing

Peak migration time but no observers available (studying the eastern Atlantic/western North Sea flyway for Sandhill Crane). The worst run of coverage since this site was started

Some should be on the prowl tomorrow

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

No reports today so far

Monday, 28 September 2009


No Reports for today so far.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Vision impossible

Heysham Obs
A solitary session of vis mig & ringing. It would not have been possible to combine these if the site had offered tutored 'vis' on this, the first of the national vis mig mornings......and this aspect was taken care of at nearby Caton Moor. In the circumstances, it was a good job there were no punters to see me lose all vestige of any 'cred' left in the locker. The screw holding a lens for my variefocals decided to fall out at about 0635 & I couldnt find it. I grabbed a couple of ancient pairs and made sure my computer glasses were brought. Vis mig was carried out by a) using the variefocals minus lens for anything above pylon height b) closing the right eye for anything at or just below pylon height c) switching to the computer glasses for anything within about 8 metres. The problem was a medium range elongation problem and a flock of double-headed Blue Tits and Long-tailed Tits looking like flying garter snakes was the result. The pairs of old glasses were useless.

Then the hunger factor. The 'vis' was supposed to be 0700-1100 and it was preceded by cold coffee and Weetabix dust, as the last piece had disintegrated, at 0630hrs. Whilst going to the loo is acceptable robust science, making beans on toast during a vis mig survey is completely out of order......especially as I was really struggling for birds & didnt want to miss the key 'event'!

Interesting: 6 Grey Wagtail were caught and one of these was ringed at Middleton IE (c1.5km SE) on 14th September 2009! Clearly a bird intent on wintering around here and, as such, was initially on the small pond next to the classroom, then called two migrants down, then all three eventually entered the net together. On release, two headed high to the SE (as usual), whilst the third (presumably ringed bird) headed low to the NE. Wren, Chaffinch, Great Tit & Blue Tit completed the catch.

Vis by the office 0700(ish)-1100
Meadow Pipit - 10 SE (honestly!)
Grey wagtail - 9 SE (5 migrants & one off-passage bird ringed)
alba Wagtail - 28 SE
Dunnock - 3 separate 'fidgety' birds eventually flew south
Chaffinch - 30, mainly SW
Mistle Thrush - 1 SW
Swallow - 14 SE
Siskin - 4 SE
Greenfinch - 3 SW (conspicuous by their absence this morning)
Song Thrush - one in high from north, landed, then headed high to east
Jay - one purposefully high to the south
Linnet - 3 S
Coal Tit - 2 on their own S
Starling - 40+27+13 SW
Pink-footed Goose - c110 S right on the nail at 1100hrs
Goldfinch - 10 SW
Reed Bunting - 2 S

Single Chiffchaff and Blackcap by the office

Middleton IE
The belated first Teal (3) of the autumn, plus perhaps 10 of the Swallows recorded during the vis survey

Could the couple who covered the coastal areas early afternoon please post anything of interest as a comment. Thanks.

Great White Egret in to roost at the Island Mere (after spending at least part of the day out of the area at Humphrey Head - definitely same bird??). Sadly very little evidence of any vis mig counts in this area, other than the advertised event at Caton Moor (see LDBWS posting) & presumably also at Silverdale

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Still too windy

Heysham Obs
A proposed ringing session at Middleton fell foul of a fresh early morning westerly, so a low-key effort next to the HNR office was Plan B. Just one Grey Wagtail and a few Greenfinch ringed

Vis mig 0645-1100
Not a lot:
Goldfinch - 2
alba Wagtail - 5
Starling - 50 SW
Chaffinch - 14
Reed Bunting - 1
Greylag - 11 S
Pink-footed Goose - 2+50 S
Grey Wagtail - 5
Greenfinch - 7 SW
Meadow Pipit - 13 SE
Rook - 4 north together - a significant record this
Skylark - 1
House Martin - 1

Wheatear - 1
Song Thrush - 3 possible migrants together
Canada Goose - 9 Middleton IE
No warblers or 'crests despite two tit flocks past the office

Outfalls area
Med Gull - 1 x 1st W, 1 x Ad
Black-tailed Godwit - 4
Bar-tailed Godwit - 2

Great White Egret Leighton Moss area (including o/n roost). 6 Glossy Ibis on Kent Estuary LAST night but NNEW so far today

Friday, 25 September 2009

Pick a number between 6 and 22mph

Heysham Obs
We are officially 'on the boundary' between the high pressure and mist and low pressure/jetstream and cloud & wind. So the forecasters have been all over the place with e.g. XC giving actual wind speeds considerably higher than forecasted ones (in Wind History section).....which then increase as the time approaches. The admirable Eno has been the most accurate, actually mentioning 'breeze' and backing up with at least low teens of wind speeds. Our area seems to be behind the back of the BBC national forecasters as they do a clockwise 'circular' tour of the British Isles and miss out the middle = us.

So we've been getting up with good mistnetting/vis intentions and largely failing on both counts on the last 5 mornings. This morning was just too windy for any nets by the office and the vis was feeble, although an 'in-off' Dunnock was a nice quirk and the first clear-cut e.g. for a few years. As on previous occasions, it was with Meadow Pipits coming from the direction of Walney

Ocean Edge/outfalls pre-newspaper 0730-0800hrs
Dunnock - one in-off with Meadow Pipits, then landing on the shore contact-calling before flying south
Meadow Pipit - 26 SE
alba Wagtail - 5 SE
Grey Wagtail - 3 SE
Black-tailed Godwit - 3
Shelduck - 114 on shore

North harbour wall with newspaper 0807-0830
Eider - 5 inshore
Meadow Pipit - 3 SE

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Curlew Sandpiper highlights otherwise poor day

Heysham Obs
Dutiful nets were put up as they are sheltered from a useless south westerlyish direction next to the office! Dutiful coverage of Ocean Edge foreshore, with more time spent reading the newspaper than actual birding.

Grey Wagtail - amazingly four crossed an otherwise vis-less sky with just one trapped and colour-ringed. 10 Greenfinch and singles of Robin and Dunnock completed the effort.

Outfalls/OE foreshore
Kingfisher - one
Black-tailed Godwit - 3 juvs
Med Gull - one ad
Wigeon - the first two of the autumn on Red Nab
Wheatear - 3

North wall area
Whimbrel - 1
Curlew Sandpiper - one with Dunlin landed briefly by the near naze
Pink-footed Goose - 45+50 S
Nothing on the pager and even less on the LDBWS site

Wednesday, 23 September 2009


Heysham Obs
Thanks to Sean Sweeney for todays sightings

North harbour wall and area most of the day
Great Skua - one north into bay
Golden Plover - flock of 45 south
Greenland Wheatear - 1 juv
Stock Dove - 2 south
Pink-footed Goose - 8 south

In small catch of only 10 moths, 6 handsome Black Rustics were perhaps unusual here.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Heysham Obs

No Reports received so far for today.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Nothing weather, nothing new

Heysham Obs
A decent thrash round doing the WeBS count produced nothing new. Earlier, the first (and only recorded) Meadow Pipit did not pass overhead until 0912hrs and this just about summed up the early morning! No vis, no ringing possible due to stronger than forecasted wind.

Coastal areas lunchtime high tide
Little Egret - one pre-tide OE saltmarsh - flew south
Med Gull - 2 x Ad & 1st W harbour mouth area
Kingfisher - one still on Red Nab
Turnstone - c140 wooden jetty but no sign of any dusky bellies amongst a tightly-packed flock on the top, nor on the lower rafters
Cormorant - 61 on wooden jetty
No Wheatear

Pink-footed Goose - flock of 60 SW at about 1200hrs

Vis by the office dawn-0830
Coal Tit - 1S
Kestrel - 1S
Chaffinch - 5S
Greenfinch - 1S
Grey Wagtail - 3 together SE
alba Wagtail - 3S
Goldfinch - 1S
Starling - 15SW
Dunnock - 1S

1 Chiffchaff

Feathered Ranunculus was new for the year & Parsnip Moth was of note

Great White Egret Leighton area in morning, then Humphrey Head & also roosted out of the area near Grange. 2 juv Little Stint Heaton Marsh

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Steady vis and a few grounded migrants

Heysham Obs
One of those tricky clear days when the high-flying vis needed utmost concentration and couldnt be kept tabs on e.g. during mist net checks

Very intermittently recorded vis over Heysham NR office to 1130hrs
All moving between SE & SW:
Meadow Pipit - 168
Chaffinch - 39
Goldfinch - 4
Grey Wagtail - 11
Greenfinch - 1
alba Wagtail - 32
Lesser Redpoll - 1
Swallow - 48
House Martin - 2
Pink-footed Goose - 30 SW

Chaffinches were notable early with peak Meadow Pipit after 0930!

Garden Warbler - 1
Chiffchaff - 5
still no Goldcrest

Ringing (just the nets by office)
6 Grey Wagtail and single Garden Warbler & Chiffchaff

Middleton IE
Little Grebe - 2 extra adults & one new chick on yesterdays count
one Black Darter
14 Migrant Hawker
9+ Common Darter

Butterflies around the office
Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral (2), Painted Lady (2), Small White, Small Copper, Speckled Wood (c15). Also at least one Migrant Hawker

National moth 'night' part tw0 in the toilet trap
Not as good as last night but some extra species: Pink-barred Sallow (3), Treble Bar (4), Common Marbled Carpet (5), Angle Shades (8 - a record catch for here!), Garden Carpet, Light Brown Apple Moth, Silver Y

Great White Egret in the Leighton Moss island mere egret roost overnight and around the Allen/EM Pools later, but mobile and latest pager messages not fully received. Nightjar flew off at 1930hrs last night. Reportedly a Greenish Warbler near the Leighton Moss island mere viewing point this am (high-pitched, slightly disyllabic rather brown Chiffchaff top of the causeway yesterday afternoon).

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Routine coverage

Heysham Obs
An inauspicious start with fanfare of singing Robins greeting an earlyish arrival. Ticking Robins are a much better greeting - this means there are unwelcome migrants invading the territories. However, quite a bit of variety in the early morning weather saw it 'spicing up' a bit, both vis mig and grounded birds. Nothing of the calibre of a Yellow-browed Warbler in a Rossall garden, nor the Leighton 'megas' (see Elsewhere)!

Green Woodpecker - TWO juvs together on Middleton IE were the landbird highlights - the first time two have been in the recording area
Wheatear - 4 OE, 5 north wall/heliport
Phyllosc spp - one briefly on the seawall by the wooden jetty
Chiffchaff - two arrived 0900ish next to the office
Dunnock - two behaving like dispersives/migrants

Vis Mig
Chaffinch - 36 S
Pink-footed Goose - 23 S
Grey Wagtail - none seen or heard on 'vis' but 1 (0730)+2 (0815) ringed!!!
alba Wagtail - 18 SE
Meadow Pipit - 41 SE (ALL after 0800hrs)
Swallow - c100 S along seawall, just 4 S over HNR reserve
House Martin - 6 S along seawall
Skylark - 2 SE
Greenfinch - one high southbound migrant
Linnet - 1 S

A fairly low-key effort by the office produced 3 Grey Wagtail, a (!) Long-tailed Tit, a Blue Tit, a blackberry-spraying Blackbird and an aggressive Great-spotted Woodpecker

Middleton IE webs:
3 Mute Swan, 8 Coot, 5 Moorhen, 9 Mallard, 10 Tufted Duck, one Pochard, 4 Little Grebe (2 chicks) and 9 Snipe

First National Moth night Heysham toilet trap
Not too bad a catch, given the clear nature of most of the night: Obscure micro (to be identified), Acleris laterana/comariana, Light-brown Apple Moth, Flounced Rustic, Square Spot Rustic, Small Square Spot, Black Rustic, Green-brindled Crescent (2), Red-line Quaker, Rush Veneer, Silver Y (14), Double-striped Pug, Treble Bar (7), Common Marbled Carpet (6), Red- green Carpet. Lack of Pink-barred Sallow very odd. Rarest for here: Red-green Carpet!

NIGHTJAR sitting on a Bearded Tit grit tray alongside Leighton Moss causeway!!!! Great White Egret Allen/EM Pools from at least - 0830hrs but mobile and may have left the area mid-morning. [Yellow-browed Warbler in a Rossall garden]

Friday, 18 September 2009

More night migrants, less vis

Heysham Obs
Anticyclonic gloom was the order of the day this morning and vis mig was much reduced

Ringing at Middleton IE and by the office
Willow Warbler - 2
Grey Wagtail - 3 (out of just 5 heard/seen) at Middleton and 3 together (the only ones heard/seen) at Heysham NR [41 colour-ringed this autumn so far, down on 2008 due to very poor weather for west coast 'vis' during the first two weeks of migration period.........and proportionately higher numbers along the Pennines/east coast]
Chiffchaff - 5
Robin - 2
Blackcap - 1
plus a few Meadow Pipit and tit species

Raven - 2 on transmission tower by hut.

available later

Pink footed goose - flock of 50 south 08.50

Ocean Edge at high tide
Pretty useless - as is usually the case on a high spring tide
Med Gull - ad flying around the wooden jetty area
Kingfisher - one on Red Nab
Wheatear - 3 fleeing a multiple Scottie chase

Wheatear - 4
Pied Wagtail - 2
Meadow Pipit - 3
All around during mowing operations.

Quite a few juvenile Curlew Sandpiper with e.g. 6 at the Allen/EM Pools

More night migrants, less vis

Thursday, 17 September 2009

More vis & excellent common bird selection on the shore

Heysham Obs
Slightly murkier this morning and torn a little between concentrating on the Grey Wagtail project or on night migrants

Chiffchaff 10-15 reserve/Moneyclose Lane, 3 Middleton IE
Whinchat - one OE saltmarsh bay on the shoreline - rare in autumn these days
Wheatear - 5 OE, 3 north wall area
Goldcrest - none - to repeat a comment on here a few days ago and echo a similar comment by Colin Raven at Walney
Blackcap - one ringed Middleton IE
Sedge Warbler - one ringed Middleton IE - late for here

Middleton industrial estate 0630-1030
Meadow Pipit 209>SE (only 9 caught and ringed)
Grey Wagtail 7 (5 caught and ringed)>SE
Chaffinch 4>SE
Pink-footed Goose 4+12 >SW
Reed Bunting 6 >SE (2 ringed)
Swallow 2>N, 4>SW, 3>SE
alba wagtail 4 >SE
Greenfinch 1 >SE
Jackdaw 2 >S
Cormorant 5>E

OE foreshore
Great waderfest for beginners
Grey Plover - 322, almost all moulting adults
Bar-tailed Godwit - 46
Black-tailed Godwit - 2
Dunlin - c250
Knot - c300
Turnstone - c150 on wooden jetty - too far away to check for Purple Sand!
Redshank - c320
Kingfisher - one sitting on Red Nab
Meds - none for the first time in ages at high tide

Dont think anything seen!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

More vis but little grounded

Heysham Obs
The N/NE wind continued to provide a clear sky and rather unremarkable vis.

Office area/Middleton IE 0700-0900
Meadow Pipit - c95
Grey Wagtail - 12 (6 colour-ringed). After about the 175th time of trying, the final bird caught this morning was an adult with e.g. uniformly black lesser coverts. All the rest have been birds of the year. Unfortunately no camera available
Linnet - 3
Swallow - 28
alba Wagtail - 13
Reed Bunting - 2

Ocean Edge very brief visit near high tide
Most of the time was spent trying to work out what was going on fire-wise near the windfarm
Med Gull - ad & 1st W Heysham one (plus 1st W Common Gull)
Black-tailed Godwit - 2

Tufted Puffin on the Swale but has flown off. Dead locally, unless you are 'into' 496 Coot on Pine Lake!

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Breezy and clear

Heysham Obs
A bit windy for successful mist-netting and just two Grey Wagtail were colour-ringed. No evidence of any grounded night migrants. Vis details for yesterday and today will be posted soon Vis: Swallow 13, Meadow Pipit 65, Linnet 10, Lesser Redpoll 1, Grey Wagtail 4, Reed Bunting 2

Surprisingly good night with Black Rustic and Frosted Orange new for the year

Nothing yet

Monday, 14 September 2009

A bit too clear with the cloud rather high

Heysham Obs
Ok for a bit of vis this morning but, once again, not for grounding night migrants

Havn't got the vis figures to hand, but they will be entered later with nothing out of the ordinary. 5 more Grey Wagtail were colour-ringed this morning. Vis 0630-1030: Meadow Pipit 20, Swallow 10, House Martin 8, alba wagtail 5

Ocean Edge on late afternoon tide
Med Gull - 2 adults on Red Nab, one appeared to be darvic-ringed but not seen clearly
4+ White Wagtail with several Pied Wagtails on/around football pitch

Pink-barred Sallow made its first appearance of the autumn

Single Little Stint & 2 Curlew Sandpiper on the EM Pool yesterday afternoon

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Variety but not quantity birdwise and an excellent late dragonfly day

Heysham Obs
No 'rares' or 'scarce' on the horizon yet, but trickles of the 'usual' non-drifted west coast migrants, Goldcrest excluded. Weather this week does have possibilities, if there are any migrant-search birders available midweek in this area.

Vis mig rather intermittently from the office area
alba Wagtail - 3
Meadow Pipit - 45
Reed Bunting - 1
Siskin - 1
Linnet - 8
Collared Dove - flock of 4
Chaffinch - 4
Lesser Redpoll - 1
Jay - 1 purposefully south
Swallow - 17
Grey Wagtail - 14 (just three ringed)
Cormorant - one high to the south over HNR
Skylark - 3
Snipe - 1 over reserve, flock of 7 over Middleton
House Martin - 32

Most interesting were the first migrant Song Thrush of the year with two grounded birds heading high inland, accompanied by a lot of 'ticking'
Handful of Robin with four lightweight birds caught in the nets by the office and quite a bit of ticking and chasing
Whitethroat - late bird Middleton IE
Chiffchaff - 2+

NINE species on HNR included the third site record of Southern Hawker and three Black Darter

Golden Oriole at least heard at Witherslack this morning

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Some 'extreme' vis mig in clear & sun-glaring conditions

Heysham Obs
A bit frustrating today with a lot of high vis and very glaring sun in the SE quadrant. Better weather tomorrow with easterly drift kicking in and some decent potential for people checking coastal bushes etc.. Please phone/text Jean Roberts, not Pete re-any birding issues this weekend (mobile not working)

Green Sandpiper - 2 flew from the direction of Middleton sewage works and headed towards OE at c1050hrs
Goose spp (Greylag/Canada-size) - 5S
flava Wagtail - heard but not seen Middleton IE
Common Buzzard - heard to the SE, but not seen, Middleton IE, then 2 to the south as seen from the HNR office at 1040hrs [rare here]
alba Wagtail - 5
Grey Wagtail - about 17 SE (6 ringed)
Meadow Pipit - very difficult to estimate but certainly not huge numbers - 45 over reserve & seemingly slightly more over Middleton IE
Jay - one appeared to be on the move on its own ('resident' family party here)
Linnet - 3
Swallow - 8
Chaffinch - 4
House Martin - 1
Reed Bunting - 1 over HNR, 2 ringed Middleton

Grounded (far too clear & little around e.g. no Goldcrest again)
Chiffchaff - 1+
Robin - 'a few' (3 ringed)
Sedge Warbler - one Middleton IE

Golden Oriole Witherslack area late morning - seen on at least two occasions

Friday, 11 September 2009

Very very slow!

Heysham Obs
Lengthy work/vis/work/mistnetting coverage around the office today. Most unusual for here was a flock of 7 Golden Plover high to the SE

Vis mig - high flying birds heading S/SE/E
Grey Wagtail - 7 (2 ringed)
Meadow Pipit - 82
House Martin - 16
Collared Dove - 6
Siskin - 4
alba Wagtail - 6
Chaffinch - 7
Reed Bunting - 1
Pink-footed Goose - 51 (flock) south at 0815hrs
Carrion Crow - 2
Swallow - 21
Goldfinch - 3
Linnet - 7
Golden Plover - 7 (flock) SE
Blue Tit - c6

Anting over the office
One adult Med Gull

Very slack with 2 Grey Wagtail, 2 Robin & a few Great & Blue Tit & Greenfinch

Moth trap
One Copper Underwing

Nothing as yet

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Morning dew & squeaks in the stratosphere

Heysham Obs
First lightish (very 'ish') coverage to 1000 by office

Vis mig
Meadow Pipit - 267 SE; many high ones missed
Grey Wagtail - 6 (4 colour-ringed)
Skylark - heard once (first of autumn)
Siskin - flock of 4 seen, 3 'lots' heard but not seen
Reed Bunting - 2 SE
Collared Dove - one high-flying bird SE
alba Wagtail - 16 SE
Chaffinch - 3 S
Coal Tit - 2+3 high to the south
Linnet - 2 S
Goldfinch conspicuous by its absence with none seen!

Goldcrest - one - late first record of the autumn
Robin - several ticking and chasing but none trapped
Dunnock - a few fidgety birds 'first thing' but no obvious vis mig
Chiffchaff - 2
Whitethroat - one
Blackcap - one
Wheatear - 2

Ocean Edge etc pm high tide
Common Tern - one juv outfalls
Med Gull - 1st W Red Nab
Eider - female offshore
Grey Plover - 100+ distantly along OE tideline

Curlew Sandpiper, presumably juv, Leighton Moss. Ruddy Darter male Bankwell. Injured Nightjar taken into care at Silverdale

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

This is more like it

................apart from being too sunny and windy to mist net any Grey Wagtails. The only operational mist net was amongst the bushes and produced about 25 birds, mainly Greenfinch

Heysham Obs
Vis by the office 0645 intermittently to 0900hrs, then even more intermittent!
Meadow Pipit - 71SE & 15 others casually recorded
Grey Wagtail - 14SE & 3 others casually recorded
Reed Bunting - 1SE
House Sparrow - 4S, then grounded on tank farm
alba Wagtail - 17SE
Swallow - 3S
Tree Pipit - 1S
Siskin - 4SW
Chaffinch - 3 high-flying birds south

Grounded - all office area observations
At least 10 'fidgety' Dunnock with two lightweight and fat-less birds trapped
At least 6 'ticking' Robin first thing by the office (3 lightweight birds ringed in the one operational net)
Coal Tit - 2
Chiffchaff - 3+ (one ringed)
Willow Warbler - 1
Blackcap - 3
Lesser Whitethroat - 1-2

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Quick check from OE foreshore

This is the 1000th post, to be followed later by a celebratory lunch of microwaved Manx Kippers

Ocean Edge/Red Nab/outfalls low tide, then near high tide
Common Tern - 2 juvs
Arctic tern - juv
Med Gull - 2+ ads & 1st W
Black-tailed Godwit - just one
Swallow - 18S in 25 minutes

North harbour wall
Wheatear - 2

Distant auk spp. off Stone jetty 0830ish, Puffin not ruled out

Monday, 7 September 2009

A few bits at low tide

Could do with a vis migger this autumn - our most regular observer is not available. Please contact Jean. Thanks.

Heysham Obs
Med Gull - 2 juv/1st W off Red Nab
Common Tern - juv Stage one outfall
Arctic Tern - juv (with above) Stage one outfall
Grey wagtail - 4SE
no Meadow Pipit vis early morning
Wheatear on North Harbour Wall

Vis by the office 0900-0930 & casually
Swallow - 3 S + 16S late afternoon
Meadow Pipit - 2S
alba Wagtail - 1S
Carrion Crow - flock of 6 SE - quite early the the autumn for obviously migrating corvids
Siskin - 2 flew south late afternoon

Grounded by the office
Lesser Whitethroat - 1
Whitethroat - 1

Some scintillating ringing late afternoon, as the wind relented, comprising a mixture of Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Dunnock and Blue Tit

Osprey high over Aldcliffe early pm

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Thorough check of outfalls at low tide

Todays German-ringed Med being ringed on the Elbe estuary!
Heysham Obs
This just goes to show that quick scans with a scope from the Ocean Edge end are not enough. A lot of the Meds were on the mudflats between the wooden jetty and Stage one outfall and these are not visible from quick from-the-car-scanning on the north harbour wall or Ocean Edge. Thanks to Mark Prestwood for sorting out last week's green darvic individual (see below) and also confirming the continued presence of the Czech-ringed adult

Ringing recovery
Med Gull
Ringed: Pionierinsel Luhe, Elbe Est, Niedersachen, Germany, Ad F nest 23/5/09
Seen: Knott End, Preesall Sands 6/8-21/8/09 (4 occasions)
Seen: Heysham outfalls 30/8 & 6/9/09

Outfalls area early-mid morning
Arctic Tern - one juv
Common Tern - ad & juv
Med Gull - 5 adult, one 3CY & 4 juv/1st W (see above) - presumably 2 of these ads on Red Nab
Common Gull - 2 juv
Wheatear - 6

North harbour wall
Fulmar - 1
Shag reported

Vis 1025-1050 office area
Grey Wagtail - 3 SE together at 1040
Meadow Pipit - 1SE!
Swallow - 6S

Middleton IE
Tufted Duck - 11 (including 4 juvs)
Raven - pr & 3 young

Nothing yet on pager

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Trumped by the Mersey

Heysham Obs
Fairly decent wind for us today with quite a bit of 'S' in it compared to yesterday. So the Mersey mouth should be 'rubbish' compared to Morecambe Bay, but this wasn't the case with prolonged views of what appears to be Lancashire's (forget the 'north merseyside' bit) first Wilson's Petrel. As regards here, its amazing how a bird as cumulatively common as Leach's Petrel, where I have personally seen hundreds over the years at Heysham, creates so much excitement when the first of the year=usually autumn is seen! This happened today.

North harbour wall 0915-0945 & 1130ish to 1415ish
Leach's Petrel - one out at about 1146hrs (& possibly it or another, or indeed a completely different species/genus/taxon, wheeling in at very long range at c1220hrs)
Black Tern - juvenile out close inshore at 1214hrs (but not on outfalls=HT)
Gannet - 5 adult out, 2CY in (very close)
Med Gull - juvenile & adult blogging - still not sure whether this is the Czech -ringed bird (see also below)
Sandwich tern - 2 ad out, ringed bird close inshore at HT (see Lee Harrison site)

Ocean Edge/Red Nab/outfalls various times during the morning (4 observers)
Med Gull - large adult & different juvenile
Common Tern - 2 adult, 2 juv
Arctic Tern - one juv, still inshore at HT
Wheatear - 7 along recording area coastline

Ad F Marsh Harrier SW over Braides Farm, Cockerham 1845hrs

Friday, 4 September 2009

Bit of early morning seawatching

Weather watch: Anyone targeting tomorrow; might be best to stay local and not 'waste your time' on the Mersey (unless there is a lingering 'one-off' (aaaargh, there was)). The strength of the wind is not particularly clever, but it is the right direction over the tide for Heysham & even JBP. Fingers crossed for a decent bird on the (power station) outfalls. Please could you leave interesting bird sightings = e.g. all seabirds in the letterbox on the HNR car park fence. Thanks - this includes all terns these days!

Heysham Obs
The wind was too north-westerly to drive any numbers of seabirds into the Bay today but did produce some terns to look at after what has been a tern-starved year for lingering, especially perching birds. Ocean Edge south beach roost held a nice 'combo' at 1315hrs of juvenile Arctic Tern, adult Common Tern, ad & juv Meds and.....Mute Swan. Need to get the camera organised.

North harbour wall & Ocean Edge on & off until c1050hrs
Arctic Skua - 2 juv into the bay, one close
Arctic Tern - 1 ad Red Nab, i juv roosting OE early afternoon
Common Tern - 2 juv outfalls for a short time, ad roosting OE early afternoon
Sandwich Tern - 3; one juv outfalls, 2 out
Kittiwake - juv out
Gannet - 3 offshore
Guillemot - one 2CY in harbour
Med Gull - ad & juv Red Nab, later OE south beach/saltmarsh
Mute Swan - adult Ocean Edge off south shore

See new link for photos of ad & juv Meds at Heysham Harbour mouth

Wood Sandpiper Conder area, Curlew Sandpiper juv at Braides Farm fields

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Coverage of sorts produces a few seabirds

Not a lot of optimism about tomorrow re- decent numbers of seabirds and anyone at JBP is probably completely wasting their time, as it is going to be a very marginal direction for even Heysham. Also no obvious influx of Leach's Petrel today - remember the current depression, formerly storm 'Danny', was originally tropical and therefore on perhaps too southerly a track over the Atlantic. Early to mid-morning probably worth a look for a few bits and bobs

Heysham Obs
Rather belated intermittent coverage from 1000-1300 from both the outfalls and north harbour wall side. A sizeable wheeling thing at about 1150hrs looked interesting but it was too far away... By far the commonest birds were wheeling juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gulls!

Coastal area
Skua spp - one out rather distantly at 1020hrs was probably a juv/dm Arctic
Bonxie - 2 seeming to follow the IOM ferry in about 1155hrs, then across the bay
Gannet - 7
Fulmar - 4
Manx Shearwater - 17, including a straggling flock of 14
Arctic Tern - one juv
Sandwich Tern - 2
Med Gull - ad & 2nd W off Ocean Edge, the latter perhaps a 'new' bird
Eider - 2 off Ocean Edge
Wheatear - one n.h. wall

Wood Sandpiper Conder area. 4 Bonxies flew out as seen from JBP at about 1300hrs

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Osprey & Grey Wagtails liven things up

Heysham Obs
That rarity, an erected mist net, made its first appearance for some time, as did two Grey Wagtail which were duly colour-ringed (see right hand column)

Seen flying south along the coast & flushing everything by a car-load of visiting birders at c1230hrs (Lee Harrison et al)

Ocean Edge etc
Med Gull - adult Red Nab, & 2 juvs seen (one with 1st W head pattern) (juv Common Gull on outfalls)
Grey Plover - 313, mostly moulting adults, c1/2 mile south of Ocean Edge

HNR office area
Chiffchaff - one ringed
Grey Wagtail - 7 SE, 2 ringed (the ONLY vis!!)
Robin - one ringed

Wall Brown Middleton IE

The elusive juv Wood Sandpiper again at Conder area 0700hrs & photographed at 1230hrs (see LDBWS site). Osprey Conder 1530ish. Juvenile Marsh Harrier Caton Moor at 0720hrs this morning

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Quick visit to Ocean Edge

The latest, subtely changing by the minute, weather synopsis does not look very good here for seabirds with a 50% or less chance of Leach's Petrel on Friday morning (but much better in the Mersey mouth). If you have some spare time, best to cover some obscure mudflats in SW Ireland as the synopsis looks brilliant for Nearctic waders. However you will probably find yourself not alone as it is flagged up by the weather as the 'obvious thing to do', combined with a bit of seawatching (and an early Nearctic landbird?)..............or Green Darner (see Mark Break's site)

Heysham Obs
Ocean Edge/outfalls/Red Nab 1030-1100
Med Gull - juv Red Nab
Kittiwake - juv Stage 2 outfall
Knot - moulting adult
Whimbrel - 1
Redshank - 311
Ringed Plover - 62
Dunlin - 5
Wheatear - 3
No sign Grey Plover flock

Second brood White Ermine was most unusual

Anonymous text re-Wryneck on "top path at Warton Crag" received about 1430hrs. Numerous phone calls and (unanswered) text to the sender, none the wiser. Hopefully this posting will be changed very soon.